Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: MrMichaelLee and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

Official Announcement

The Wizards sent an e-mail at 4:53 pm making it official. From the press release:

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has named Flip Saunders as head coach. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not released.
"We're very proud to bring a proven winner like Flip Saunders on board as our head coach," said Wizards Chairman Abe Pollin. "After going through what was a very difficult season, I know our fans share in my anticipation of what we can accomplish with new leadership, a healthy roster and a renewed commitment to excellence."

More details later. The news conference is at 3 pm on Thursday.

By Alexa Steele  |  April 22, 2009; 6:10 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Poll: How Many Wins?
Next: An Outside Opinion on Flip

Comments

Any news on his assistant coaches.

Posted by: brandonjamal13 | April 22, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Love this signing and love Abe Pollin

Posted by: dingersoll1 | April 22, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I do hope that Coach Saunders pays someone to work with the "Bigs".
Prior to, we had Tony Massenberg doing volunteer work with the big men. Nothing against Big Tony, but I'd think that McGee, Blatche, Pech and even Haywood would benefit from some tutelage from an accomplished, experienced coach that specifically works with the centers and power forwards.

Posted by: bozomoeman | April 22, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully Wes Unseld Jr. is gone.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | April 22, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm siked about this new coach.

Having Avery would have been a real gamble, high possibility of bust. Gil doesn't need control - he needs the right system to be molded into a point guard.

50+ wins here we come.

Posted by: iamse7en | April 22, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Now I want the assistants named. We can't get there fast enough for me.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 22, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

This is how the real interview went....
"We're very proud to bring a proven winner like Flip Saunders on board as our head coach," said Wizards Chairman Abe Pollin. "It was very difficult going through a season with a loser like ETaps, I hope the fans share in my anticipation and buy season tickets for next year based on what we can accomplish with new leadership, a healthy roster and a renewed commitment to excellence. Did I mention we won't go over the luxury cap to sign a high first round pick"

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | April 22, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

"Gil doesn't need control - he needs the right system to be molded into a point guard.

Posted by: iamse7en | April 22, 2009 9:26 PM "

Just like how Larry Brown converted AI to a pass first point guard?

It's funny to me how some of these reporters have LaBradford Smith syndrome....one game and "great game Mike."

I saw a report today where someone showered Gilby with point guard praise for having a 20:1 assist/turnover ratio after the first two games...as if it would continue to be as such...

So funny...

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | April 22, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

To continue from the previous thread, I brought up Larry Hughes to come up with a player who could be useful and whose salary roughly matches with what we would be dumping on the Knicks by sending Etan and James to them. I'd love to get David Lee but for that to happen maybe we would send them our pick for Rubio, but not receive their pick in return and instead get Lee and some trashy salaries. The larger point is that there are a few teams that think very highly of Rubio and my expectation is that if he fell our way, EG could both dump salary and get some quality in return. My preference is some interior toughness but to dump 13 million in salary, it's reasonable to assume we'll have to take some trash in return.

Posted by: mugsybol | April 23, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

DC_Man88

You don't have nothing but hate to say about Gilbert. I disagree, but not for reasons you might think.

We all know Gilbert is a tweener. He is a 2 playing 1 tweener, not a 1 playing 2 tweener. But, 2 factors will make Gilbert will be more of a one-two.

The first and most important is the improvement of the supporting cast outside of the Big 3. This roster is the best roster that Gil played with in the past. Example: Haywood. If I was an opposing player in the past, I would love it when you passed the ball to Haywood on the block. I would even thank Gilbert for not shooting and passing to Haywood. The same for Etan, Ruffin, Jeffries, Jarvis Hayes, among others. Now though, Haywood is much improved. Etan and Ruffin, replaced by Blatche/Songaila/McGee. Etan and Ruff, I would not pass the ball to. Their replacements I would. All 3 are better all around basketball players who have yet to even play any significant minutes with a healthy Gilbert. Jeffries has been replaced by Stevenson/McGuire. Remember 50/50. Stevenson will be more open with Gil on the court than without Gil. Nick replaced Jarvis. Aren't you the main one calling Jarvis, Arvis?

The second reason Gil will be more of a pass first guard is I don't think physically or mentally he will be able to be the Agent0 assassin. You still have to respect his range, which will open up the court for everybody and allow him to penetrate. I don't think you will see more penetrate and dish, and less And1's.

The Wiz will win the Southeast Division with about 50-53 wins. The top 3 seeds will be close because the depth of the East will not allow nobody to run away with the #1 seed. Nobody!

Posted by: G-Man11 | April 23, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

G-Man11,

I agree with what you say about Gil. His supporting cast has a lot more talent -- especially on the offensive end. If he can get close to 9 to 10 assists a game and shoot 15 to 20 points on a relatively high percentage the Wizards are going to win a lot of games.

The big question for the Wizards and every other team boils down to health. On paper, sure, this team has the talent to win 50 games. Aside from health, the other big question is what the off-season move(s) are going to be. The Wizards have a real interesting hand to play even if they don't land the #1 overall pick in the draft. If they land the #1 overall, it makes things a little easier to figure out.

Posted by: JPRS | April 23, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

For those who keep on complaining about Wizards not wanting to pay luxury tax:

First, I do not know why it is a good thing to pay luxury tax. A good management will always try to build the best team with least money and not the other way around. I certainly prefer Wizards roster than the Knicks who have the highest salary. Sacramento, who beats Wizards to the bottom this season, also has higher payroll than the Wizards. OTOH, there are plenty of teams that are pretty good with lower salaries, Spurs, Orlando, Jazz, to name a few.

Secondly, if going over luxury tax is a good yard stick to measure the willingness to win, then don't worry, Wizards *will be over the luxury tax* come next season even if they do not sign any new player. The luxury tax threshold will be lowered next season due to the fact that it is tied to the league revenue which has shirked this season. So now we can all go home happy that Wizards are going to pay tax!

Posted by: sagaliba | April 23, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

The best thing about this coaching move is the track record that Suanders has with taking Combo guards and building an offense around them.

Marbury and Billups each had some of their most effective years under Flip. Flip's taken a guy like Billups, who no one else seemed to think could be an effective point and turned him into an Allstar and an eventual title winner.

G-man11, great point about Gil and the talent around him, hard to average a lot of assists when passing Ruffin, Etan, Jeffries, etc.

Another point about assists on the Wizards, the Princeton wasn't designed for the ball to always reset to one guy in order to restart the offense. And the Wiz's other two best scorers are not catch and shoot guys. Jamison and Butler will often put the ball on the floor, even if they're open when they catch it.

Comparing Arenas to LaBradford Smith is beyound silly, the guy's been a three time Allstar and contrary to what gets typed on here time after time, him and Jamison have won a playoff series.

If anyone has an open mind they can see that the accumulation of talent on the roster now is quite different then when an over matched Wizards team went into the second round against the Heat in their title year.

In all fairness to Eddie, he didn't have a lot to work with some of those years. There is more pure talent on the roster now, but a lot of it is raw and needs developed, that's where Flip and a solid staff will be key.

Larry, the rumor is that Wittman and Cassell are coming to Washington with Flip. I'd agree with the notion of bringing in a good big man coach to work with the young bigs, especially if the Wiz go the direction of Thabeet.

I like the idea of Cassell to work with the guards, he's an accomplished vet who knew how to win in this league. Wittman has that tough guy rep. coming in. I can see him and Suanders playing a lot of good cop/bad cop routine to get their points accross.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | April 23, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

If Cassell and Wittman are coming in with Flip then where does Wes Unseld JUNIOR be sitting at? When it comes to this franchise he's untouchable.

Posted by: Dave381 | April 23, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Rest assured that Wes Unseld Jr. will either be in a front office position or maybe as director of player development ala Tapscott. I don't think Flip is going to have him on the bench as an assistant, but I could be wrong. Hopefully, Cassell will be able to work well with Arenas on becoming more a true PG, but we still need a big man coach to work with McGee, Blatche, Pecherov.

Posted by: wizfan89 | April 23, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

A NOTE TO SJBRJM: Concerning your post under yesterdays blog How many wins; "Eddie Jordan was not the solution" if you are going to post please know what you are talking about this was all Ernie Grunfeld mess, Jordan was the best coach this franchise has had in the last two decades, taking a team that by all expert opinions lacked playoff talent to the playoffs four years in a row two of those years without their best player(Arenas).Eddie Jordan was and is recognized by most NBA observers as one of the best sideline X'S and O'S coach's in the game.Eddie Jordan tenure in DC as a head coach was in jeopardy as soon as Ernie Grunfeld was hired, Grunfeld did everything he could to undermine EJ's authority and derail any success Jordan sought for the Wizards you only need to look at this past season as proof. Fact#1: mismanaged the salary cap by overpaying Gilbert, not one Gm in this league would have paid that type of money given Arenas health status, Fact#2 Paid 50 million to Jamison there is no bigger fan of Antawn then me but that figure was way too much,Fact#3 Contract extensions to Andray Blatche and Oleskiy Pecherov, Blatche is a noted underachiever and Pecherov? well if you follow the team i won't bore you with the detalis,Fact#4 Allowed Roger MasonJr to leave via free agency to San Antonio,had Grunfeld managed the Arenas and Jamison negotiations with a clue he could have signed Mason and remember Mason signed with us the year before for less money just to be near his family!Fact#5 Grunfeld did absolutely nothing to help Jordan last offseason,Mo Williams(Cavs),Mo Evans(Hawks)and Flip Murray(Hawks) all were available and at least one of them could have helped this team given the fact that Arenas was out all year for the most part.Fact#6 Fired Eddie Jordan after just ten games despite the fact that Jordan was this teams best coach in the last twenty years setting into motion one of the worst seasons in recent team history no matter how you cut it SJBRJM its Grunfeld who is not the solution!!

Posted by: dargregmag | April 23, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Dargregmag,

That is very impressive. That is the best flowing synopsis I've seen on this Blog against Ernie Grunfield.

But I have to Beg To Differ.

Those moves may look bad now, however the value of Grunfield's moves or lack of is still an evolving process. The verdict is not in yet on Ernie.

Even the firing of Jordan is still not proven to be right one way or the other yet. If he had hired a real coach then that answer we might currently know.

That being said, I am adamant that Eddie had to be fired and not because Eddie was never Ernie's guy, but because Eddie made terrible coaching decisions that all but decided his fate.

SJBRJM is right. Jordan was not the solution. But what is even more clear is that Ernie Grunfield may very well be the right solution for the Wizards and one short year will definitely provide you with the clear cut answer.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 23, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

But Dargregmag,

According to a BulletsFan78, All three of us don't got it right.'

'Cause if you familiar wit' 78's blogs, Abe is not the right solution.

I get where 78 is comin' from though and there is wisdom in his words.

Do you?

LarryInClintonMD.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 23, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm not the resident cap guy, but I do understand the rudimentry parts of the cap and the luxury tax. Given the interaction of the two rules, the Wiz didn't have the flexibility to do much beyound what they did last summer.

First of all, both Gil and Jamison had other suitors. The Clippers were prepared to offer Gil the Max that they could and Philly was ready to pony up for Jamison. In retrospect, both teams would have been better off in the long run to sign Arenas and Jamison.

There seems to be a growing sentiment that both Davis and Brand are damaged goods. Arenas and Jamison's prospects of long term health seem to look better at this point.

Mason is the only point I'll remotely agree with you on. Grunfeld seemed to feel with a healthy Stevenson and a young and improving Nick Young, that Mason was expendable. That sure didn't work out very well. Mason has learned to be a pro, those kind of guys, you find a way to keep around. But you and I have the advantage of 20/20 hindsight and we're spending somebody else's money.

On all of those other guys, the Wiz didn't have a salary slot to offer. Without shipping somebody out, there wasn't a slot to bring somebody in. Grunfeld ended up selling his second round pick because of a lack of salary slots to use.

And you can't release a guy to sign a guy. That doesn't create a slot. That's what happens when you offer up multi year deals to get players to sign here. With the rep that the wiz had, guys like Daniels and Songaila were asking for an extra yr on the backend of their contracts to sign.

When an injury like Etan's takes place, it can really hamstring a franchise. Who would have quessed when Etan's contract was matched that he'd have missed the last two years? Or that Daniels would show up to camp on one leg, or that Songaila would suffer a back injury before ever playing for the Wiz that has limited his effectiveness.

Or that the re-injury to Gil's knee, that Eddie's overplaying him out of the gate last season had a role in, would linger so long.

Grunfeld wasn't out to deliberatly undermine Eddie, somethings are just bad luck and poor timing.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | April 23, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Grunfeld undermined EJ?

Fact: If EJ had his way, Haywood would have been gone at the end of 06-07 season. Grunfeld intervened and allowed EJ having a winning season and playoff appearance in 07-08.

Giving big money to Gil and 'tawn? With those money saved, who would you like to sign? OK, Mason. So do you think Mason along can propel Wizards into playoff this season? And who would you sign to replace Antawn?

I am appalled by those who attributed all the past season success to EJ and this year's fall to EG!

Posted by: sagaliba | April 23, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Just a quick response to some concerning my post on Grunfeld; Mason signed with the Spurs for right around eight million 2-3 yr contract if my memory serves me,Gil wasn't going to sign with the Clippers trust me not even for max money not with their history of ineptitude and Jamison to Philly no way not with Thaddeus Young,and other young studs waiting in the wings if Ernie beleived that then he was put together like a two piece puzzle,Grunfeld could have shaved some millions off of Gil and AJ's contract and kept Mason and sold those two "team players" on team continuity but its over and I need to move on, word here in the A-T-L is that if Miami eliminates Atlanta(i don't see that happening) then Woodson will be shown the door and EJ is the odds on favorite to take over the Hawks provided he doesn't go to Sacremento(Don't do it EJ its a trap,unless you have total control)I have been life long Bullets/Wizards fan and will continue to be, that being said Flip should have them in the playoffs next year.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 23, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully Wes Unseld Jr. is gone.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | April 22, 2009 9:04 PM
___________________________________________
The assistants, what about the assistants?
Keep Hopla only, all others GONE.

Posted by: closg | April 23, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

"DC_Man88

You don't have nothing but hate to say about Gilbert. I disagree, but not for reasons you might think.

We all know Gilbert is a tweener. He is a 2 playing 1 tweener, not a 1 playing 2 tweener. But, 2 factors will make Gilbert will be more of a one-two.

The first and most important is the improvement of the supporting cast outside of the Big 3. This roster is the best roster that Gil played with in the past. Example: Haywood. If I was an opposing player in the past, I would love it when you passed the ball to Haywood on the block. I would even thank Gilbert for not shooting and passing to Haywood. The same for Etan, Ruffin, Jeffries, Jarvis Hayes, among others. Now though, Haywood is much improved. Etan and Ruffin, replaced by Blatche/Songaila/McGee. Etan and Ruff, I would not pass the ball to. Their replacements I would. All 3 are better all around basketball players who have yet to even play any significant minutes with a healthy Gilbert. Jeffries has been replaced by Stevenson/McGuire. Remember 50/50. Stevenson will be more open with Gil on the court than without Gil. Nick replaced Jarvis. Aren't you the main one calling Jarvis, Arvis?

The second reason Gil will be more of a pass first guard is I don't think physically or mentally he will be able to be the Agent0 assassin. You still have to respect his range, which will open up the court for everybody and allow him to penetrate. I don't think you will see more penetrate and dish, and less And1's.

The Wiz will win the Southeast Division with about 50-53 wins. The top 3 seeds will be close because the depth of the East will not allow nobody to run away with the #1 seed. Nobody!

Posted by: G-Man11 | April 23, 2009 8:17 AM "

You call it hate, I call it a dose of reality for you.

Gilby's track record speaks for himself.

A lotta points, but also a lot of unnecessary drama and a lot of missed games.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | April 23, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company